Summary: God has given us spiritual gifts, talents, and abilities to use in servicing God and others.
Last week we began a three part sermon series focused on stewardship, taking care of what God has given to us. NIV Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
Our memory verse passage reflects that God owns everything. We have been given our time, talent, and our treasure by God to use. That is what a steward is, someone who cares for someone else’s stuff. As stewards of the time, talent, treasure God has given to us, we have a responsibility to use these according to God’s plan and purpose. Last week we began looking at managing our time God’s way. God’s desire is that we manage our time according to God’s priorities, which are our relationships, God first, others (spouse, children, family, and then friends) and myself second. It is God’s desire that we organize our time according to these priorities. When we adjust our time to our God given priorities, we find much more satisfaction in life because we are focusing on what really matters namely our relationships with those we love and care about. Last week I commented that I had never heard anyone at the end of their life complain because they felt they had not spent enough time working. Regrets are always regarding relationships. When we organize our time according to God’s priorities we live without regrets of spending time unwisely.
This week we are focused on another aspect of stewardship, our talent. By our talent I am referring to our natural abilities, the skills we learn, and the spiritual gifts we are given.
1. God has given me a unique combination of abilities, skills, and gifts.
A. We are given natural abilities and skills.
God has created each of us in a particular way with certain natural abilities and skills. God made you uniquely you, there is no one exactly like you. Even if you are an identical twin, you are not exactly like your twin. Your personality will be different, your abilities will be different because that was the way God intended to create you. [Example of Bobby and Josiah]. If you are a parent, didn’t you marvel at how each one of your children, who had the same mother and father, could be so totally different. Each one had different abilities. There were things one may have been good at, while another was good at something else. It seemed that way almost since a very young age.
That is true with all of us, God has given us each differing abilities in order to complement one another. You are able to do things well that I cannot do. I am able to do things well that you can’t do well, but when we bring them together we are able to accomplish what God has called us to do.
We read about these natural abilities and skills in the Bible, specifically in the OT when, God commanded Moses to build a Tabernacle or a tent which was to serve as a place of worship for God’s people. In building the Tabernacle, God employed people who had talents and skills in certain areas.
NLT Exodus 31:1 The LORD also said to Moses, 2 "Look, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri... 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts. 6 "Moreover, I have given special skill to all the naturally talented craftsmen so they can make all the things I have instructed you to make:
Focusing on verse 6 we read that God had given natural ability or talent of craftsmanship to some of the men. Then God also gave them a certain skill to complete the project of building the Tabernacle. God gives both natural abilities, and skill which can be taught to others.
NLT Exodus 35:25 All the women who were skilled in sewing and spinning prepared blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and fine linen cloth, and they brought them in. 26 All the women who were willing used their skills to spin and weave the goat hair into cloth.
God gave some of the women a skill in sewing and weaving so that they could use their talents to help build a place of worship. [Reminds of the woman at our church who serve by using their skills at knitting to make blankets for the infants born at the hospital].
NLT Daniel 1:17 God gave these four young men [Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego] an unusual aptitude for learning the literature and science of the time. And God gave Daniel special ability in understanding the meanings of visions and dreams.
With Daniel and his three friends were given the natural ability to learn literature and science, and also foreign languages. These young men used their gifts to serve in a foreign land under a foreign government. God gave them these abilities so that they could one day honor God by using them.